Last January, Swiss artist Adrian Falkner served General Motors a lawsuit after the automaker used a graffiti mural in a 2017 Cadillac XT5 advertisement. Since then, the case has pushed forward and will head to court on Monday.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Falkner claims the ad infringes on copyrights and Cadillac did not have permission to use the mural in online advertising. A freelance photographer shot photos of the XT5 next to the mural in 2016 for the “Art of the Drive” campaign. Falkner also said in the lawsuit that GM deliberately removed his signature, signed “Smash 137.”
GM argues the mural is part of the parking lot structure and therefore does not feature protections from any copyright laws; Falkner’s legal team argues the parking garage is an art gallery and the mural is part of a larger project the building owner commissioned.
The artist also believes Cadillac and GM exploited his reputation “because he has carefully and selectively approached any association with corporate culture and mass-market consumerism.”
The Monday court hearing will consider Falkner’s arguments.